A MAN from Calcot near Cirencester was flying in an amateur-built balloon died after taking part in a competition, a crash report found.

Pilot Peter Gregory died in a hot air balloon crash near Ombersley Court on June 25, 2023, while he was taking part in a competition in the area.

A report published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found the balloon design and weather conditions had contributed to the 25-year-old's death. 

The competition involved Mr Gregory dropping a marker as close as he could to a target location and the incident happened while he was climbing rapidly away from the target.

The balloon envelope had collapsed and led the basket Mr Gregory was in to fall to the ground.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: PILOT: Peter Gregory died in a hot air balloon crash.PILOT: Peter Gregory died in a hot air balloon crash. (Image: West Mercia Police)

At the time, West Mercia Police said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The balloon had fallen to the ground in a field off Holt Fleet Road, and pictures taken showed the balloon being wrapped around a tree.

The investigation found the balloon was likely to have suffered a parachute stall which was caused by the design, weather conditions and the rapid climb the balloon underwent. 

A spokesperson for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said: "Three safety recommendations have been made to the British Ballooning and Airship Club.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: CRASH: Police outside Omberlsey Court, the scene of teh hot air balloon crashCRASH: Police outside Omberlsey Court, the scene of teh hot air balloon crash (Image: Newsqust)

"These are to develop an effective reporting culture within the ballooning community, issue guidance on the prevention and recovery from unsafe conditions such as parachute stalls, and issue guidance regarding jettisoning of fuel tanks during an emergency."

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch also provided two safety recommendations to the Civil Aviation Authority which were to publish guidance on the design, testing and inspection of amateur balloons and to publish guidance related to the oversight of competition balloon flying.

Mr Gregory's family paid tribute to the 25-year-old who had lived in the Cotswolds.

They said: “Peter Gregory had 25 years of living life to the full.

"On the morning of Sunday, June 25, our Pilot Pete took one last flight, doing what he loved.

"Be it in a hot air balloon or as an airline pilot, Peter’s passion for flying was something his family and friends could only admire and support him towards.

"When he set his heart to something, he’d never give up, he was driven and determined, and one could only watch on in awe."